Rocklin and a hard spot

Slick video in the State of the City address hyped a project that Rocklin officials later regretted

Rocklin is moving toward reopening its Quarry Park Adventures, while also pursuing a lawsuit against the park’s former operator, whom city officials claimed hoodwinked them.

Rocklin’s city attorney and the Sacramento-based law firm Downey Brand recently filed a suit in Placer Superior Court against David Busch and his company, Legacy Family Adventures-Rocklin. The complaint alleges a dozen causes of action, including fraud and breach of contract.

The legal drama comes on the heels of the park opening to great fanfare, mostly pushed by Rocklin’s public information apparatus. Former city manager Rick Horst even included a promotional video of the rock-climbing, zip-lining venue in his 2017 State of the City address.

But the 35-page lawsuit claims there was soon reason to regret the city-led promotional campaign. Rocklin officials now say Busch “conned the city” and concealed his past failures with adventure parks in Texas. These failures included the loss of $784,000 by one park in 2014 and an $86,000 fine for child labor law violations by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2016, according to media reports.

Busch had enjoyed successes elsewhere, helping build an Oahu-based adventure park in 2000 and serving in 1983 as general manager of Kansas City-based Worlds of Fun in 1983. He also has longstanding ties to the Sacramento area, having served as president of the Cal Expo-based Waterworld in the late 1980s.

When Rocklin council members voted 4-1 in February to ditch Busch in favor of a new contact with a Colorado-based firm, he publicly blasted them.

“There’s no way on this earth this is going to make money and you are naive to take the staff’s word for this,” Busch told the council.

The new operator, Bonsai Designs, dealt with its own controversy last March, after a 20-year-old woman died in a 75-foot fall from an attraction the firm had installed and inspected.